LAHORE-The Pakistan Tennis Federation has deviated from long established norms of selection by inviting only seven players for trials for the Davis Cup tie against Oman. This oddity indeed is strange, for in tennis it is always one against one, or two against two. For the uninitiated, the principle is that for any event the federation invites eight players to select half that number. This time round only one player less was invited only to avoid controversy later, accuses Ali Akbar, the former secretary of the PTF who incidentally is a strong critic of the federation. So to get back at him, claims Ali, when it was required that eight players be invited for trials, the PTF left out his talented 18-year-old Abid Ali. Independent critics rate Abid is a precocious talent, perhaps the best youngster seen in domestic tournaments since Aisam Qureshi. Abid reached the semifinals of the National Clay Court Championships in Islamabad, losing to the eventually winner Pakistan number 1 Aqeel Khan. The youngster also qualified for the ITF Futures professional tournament late last year. Another thing in Abid's favour was that he has many more Pakistan circuit points than the number seventh player who has been invited. All this combined makes this a rather glaring omission. It needs to be stated that talent-wise Pakistan tennis' cupboard is quite visibly bare at the moment. In the circumstances, such victimisation is likely to exacerbate the situation. Meanwhile, Secretary PTF Major (retd) Rashid Khan insisted that the federation made the selection on merit. He said that the PTF lacked facilities and did not have much time to conduct open trials.